Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The High Priced Spread

So I told you how I managed to get into the DSLR world without having to mortgage the farm or sell illegal substances but what I didn’t do was tell you it can be done even if you are addicted to the high priced spread.

A thousand years ago when the single lens reflex came into wide spread use, most people believe that Nikon brought out the very first model. They would be wrong of course, that title belongs to Pentax. (See I had a good reason for selecting the Pentax K-x as my baby. {There were earlier SLRs, most of them German pre-war and extremely expensive, but the first consumer affordable SLR came from Japan.}

And in truth the Nikon was the first system SLR camera. (That means there was a complete selection of lenses and accessories for the brand.) And as a system camera they were priced accordingly. For ‘real’ people this was a bit daunting but for working Pros who had to get the SHOT first-time, every time the Nikon became the gold standard. (My own favorite the Miranda camera, wonder why, was often referred to as the “poor man’s Nikon” and so it was. It had a duel mount, bayonet on the outside and screw on the inside making it adaptable to a wildly large variety of lenses. Don’t think this matters? Try being in the rain forests of Brazil and dropping a lens in the Amazon. You either swim with the piranha or find another lens. Most guys would rather find another lens. You could do that if you had a Miranda but with a Nikon it was Nikkor all the way.)

So while other guys came first Nikon became THE brand of the pros and since little fishes like to think they are big fishes they went out and bought Nikons too.

One month after the introduction of the Nikon system, Canon came along and became the Avis of SLRs, not first but we try harder.

These two brands have dominated the field for all of the years since that start in 1959 and they continue to do so today. I have always harbored a suspicion that they were over hyped but most people believe they are the Gold Standard.

There is nothing at all wrong with wanting the Gold Standard, so just because I centered my search for a different brand, you can, if you want a Canon or Nikon do the same sort of thing.

Now here comes a disclaimer, because they are the Gold Standard you don’t have to settle for someone’s hand-me-downs. Even at the Edge of the World you can buy a Canon or Nikon off the shelf, if you really, truly want to. Wally World will sell you a dynamite kit Canon T3 rebel with an 18-55 lens and a bonus 75-300 lens for $449. Want to step it up? You can do the Canon T3i Rebel with the same lens package for $599. Still want more? Okay how bout a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55 lens and a 55-200 lens for $499? Finally you can move all the way up and get a Nikon D3200 body only at Amazon for $409. The lens will cost you $84 for the 18-55 and $94 for the 55-200.

You can do that and never have to leave Coos Bay and you will get a fine camera with incredible versatility which you will never outgrow and never wear out. You can do that.

Or you can try the ole Trawler’s method and check out KEH


or B&H

Now not being the sort to leave you hanging on your own, the Ole Trawler has done all of the mind-numbing research and can mention the following.

First search for Template:Canon EOS digital camera or Template:Nikon DSLR cameras, you want the Wikipedia article. This will show you the introduction date and the end of service date for every model since the introduction of DSLRs.

Why do you want to know this? Because that super deal on the Canon T3i or the Canon T3 might not look so good if you know that the End of Service date was the second quarter of 2012. It might still look good and it is but knowing why you are getting a deal is all part of the buying process. (EoS date for the Nikon D3200 is some time in 2014 so that might be a better choice.)

Once you have done that then you can go to Adorama, B&H or KEH and search for what you want.

The Canon T3 Rebel at KEH was $254 body only and another $59 dollars for the 18-55 lens. That was the best deal but B&H, Amazon and Adorama offered the same combination at a higher rate.

Step up one notch to the Canon T3i and you are looking at slightly higher cotton. KEH had the body for $415 with the same $59 dollars for the lens. (That’s one hundred and twenty-five dollars less than the deal at Wally World and with that extra you can buy the other lens when one comes in. But the numbers are getting close.)

The Nikon moves up another notch, the D3100 with the two lens package is $499 at Wally World or $426 at Amazon with the 18-55 lens $84 dollars at KEH and the 55-200 for $85 dollars at KEH. This makes the Wally World deal a better choice. Not everything can be had for less by going a few models back.)

The D3200 is actually a better match with the body costing $399 at Adorama and $379 at KEH. The lenses are $84 for the 18-55 and $89 for the 55-200. So you wind up breaking even on the buy no matter which way you go.

Now do keep in mind that these quotes are before Christmas so they may come down after the Big Event.

Use all of the tools I have suggested, Snapsort for comparison, Camera Size if handling is an issue. Those with larger and smaller than average hands need to think before they buy. Dropping a camera is tragic but missing a once in a lifetime shot because you couldn’t reach the right control is just sad.

Use the templates to find out where in the life cycle the camera you want is hovering. Late in the life cycle means it will probably be coming up on the used market so you might want to wait a few months.

There is no way to eliminate the cost of a DSLR but with a bit of judicious shopping the cost can drop from heart-stopping to where can I sell those pesky kids and get some ready cash?

A camera is no better than the eye behind it. Buying a Nikon doesn’t make you a photographer it makes you a Nikon owner. (Yes I stole the quote, but it was by an anonymous source so it would be hard to give proper credit. {Quote* Annoy-mouse unknown date.)

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